GEORGE — Organizers have canceled next month’s George, WA Bluegrass Festival due to the state’s crowd-size regulations. The annual free festival, hosted by the George Community Hall, usually brings in roughly 250-300 attendees, said event director Debby Kooy.
On Friday, news about having to cancel came in from the Grant County Health Department, she said.
The county is in Phase 2 of Washington’s Safe Start reopening plan. This phase prohibits gatherings of more than five people outside of one’s household. Concert venues are not allowed to open until Phase 4.
Given that the festival is based on music, that news “kind of killed it,” she said. The Community Hall had to bow to the regulations.
Those regulations also mean that most future events put on by the hall will also have to be canceled. These include seasonal concerts, jams and Coffeehouse Concerts.
Not having these events also means less revenue for local businesses. Everyone has been affected, she said.
Attendees normally stop by local businesses in town during the concert, she said. A new coffee shop, restaurant and micro hotel came to Quincy this year.
The festival, Kooy said, would still be happening if the coronavirus disappeared and the county were to move into a different phase, but “at this point, it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen.”
The festival is planning to return in 2021.